reaper sound editor tips Asbjoern Andersen


Interest in REAPER just continues to grow – but getting started can be a bit daunting, as there are just so many options and possibilities. Luckily, here’s The REAPER blog’s Jon Tidey with his favorite tips for making the most of this popular DAW:



 

In the past few years I’ve seen a ton of professionals switching to REAPER for sound design and dialog work. Asbjoern noticed this as well and asked me to share some tips here on A Sound Effect. So here are my 5 tips for making the most of REAPER, whether you’re just getting started or want to optimize your existing workflow.

1: Fix the file management

Without some care and attention, your projects and associated files can quickly become a confusing mess. File management is vitally important, and REAPER provides complete control over auto backups, file names, peak files, and more, but none of these are set by default.
Briefly, here’s how I have mine set
• Timestamped AutoBackups and ReaPeak files saved to a specific folder (away from project audio)
• Backup frequency is 6min
• Trackname[xx] format for recorded file names.
imported files will be copied to the project folder, which is called ‘Audio Files’ or ‘Media’ in the same place as the project file.
• Temp files (old backup and peaks) cleaned if older than 7 days via nightly scheduled Automator script

For details check out this article on Reaper File management.
 

2: Optimize zooming and scrolling

When working in a DAW you have a mouse in your hand for 90% of it. The way you move around the project needs to be intuitive and effortless.
The defaults for zooming and scrolling in REAPER make absolutely no sense to me. Mouse wheel to zoom makes sense in a realtime strategy game, but you’d expect it to scroll up and down the timeline in a DAW. Luckily that’s easy to fix.
Open the action list and filter by ‘mousewheel’ to find everything the mouse wheel can be assigned to. Filter for scroll or zoom and there are even more options. Configure it like your old DAW or whatever else makes the most sense to you. I go into the details of my setup in this video.

Video Thumbnail

3: Use your screensets

reaper screenset
Screensets are a fast way to save and load your optimized window positions for any task you’re currently doing. This is a lot like saving window positions in Pro Tools Memory Locations, but these are global and will work for all your projects.

For example, you could have one layout with the just the arrange view and your custom toolbars, a second with the mixer fullscreen, a 3rd with your dialog fx plugins floating. In this video I show the screen sets feature in detail.
 
 

Video Thumbnail

4: Get the extensions


What’s an extension? It’s like a plugin for REAPER that adds additional functions such as an envelope LFO generator; startup actions; and marker to bpm conversion tool.
There are two extensions that I consider essential: SWS S&M; and ReaPack.
The previously mentioned features are part of SWS, and it also includes a few hundred more actions that are useful alone or as part of custom actions.

ReaPack is a package manager for REAPER. What that means is it can search for and install package updates automatically.
color picker
A package could be LUA or EEL script, a JSFX plugin, extensions or other ReaPack compatible thing. If you have no interest in learning to script, ReaPack is a great way to start using them, just install 500+ in one-shot, then use them from the action list. Did I mention that these extensions and scripts are free?

sidebar: Extensions are a collection of functions and compiled code. Scripts are individual tools in non-compiled lua, eel or python code that use REAPER’s API. If a function needs a GUI then extension or script is the way to go.
 


Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • Environments Command Center I Play Track 28 sounds included, 28 mins total $24.95

    Orbital Emitter is proud to present Command Center I – a comprehensive sci-fi sound-set providing a rich arsenal of futuristic sounds for you to quickly build believable sci-fi atmospheres for all of your sci-fi projects! Inside you will find nuanced environments, futuristic instrument displays, multiple alerts and imaginative lo-fi system sounds. And like the rest of our growing library, this environment sound-set can be customized to your liking allowing multiple possibilities -all from this one sound-set!

    Our sound-sets are made up of two main folders labeled as Audio-Scenes and Audio-Stems. The Command Center I Audio-Scenes consist of five long playing scenes representing this star-cruiser command center in various modes of operation; -From busy to calm to high alert and more. Think of these audio-scenes like we dropped microphones into a futuristic space cruiser command center and have captured all of its sounds in real-time!

    Our Audio-Stems folder contains the curated sound elements used in creating the audio-scenes. This is where you will find isolated sound elements like tactical scans, lost communications, sweeping sensors, enemy alerts, interface sounds, probe telemetries, stellar mapping, systems under incredible stress and interface sounds and much much more!

    Also included with our audio-stems are less glamorous necessities like room tones and back-wall system sounds to give your futuristic environments the nuance they deserve. This sound-set is delivered industry ready at 24 bit/48kHz WAV and each sound file contains simple meta-data to make our sound files easy to organize & find. All of our sounds are 100% original, created in our sound-labs and designed to boldly explore the universe of sci-fi sound!

    Thank you for reading! Watch for more from Orbital Emitter coming soon!

    20 %
    OFF
    Starts 1579820400
    Add to cart
  • Say Hello to Particles the new sonic weapon for creative sound designers, video makers, filmmakers and motion designers.

    A must-have sound effect library to give a sense of organic and hyper-realistic to your projects in a fast and creative way.

    • 287 high quality pristine sound effects with an organic and granular taste divided into 6 categories.
    • Stereo 24bit and 96khz for extreme pitch shifting and sound manipulation.
    • BaseHead embedded metadata

    CATEGORIES:

    Hyper- Realistic Textures (104 sounds)

    These are hyper close-up recordings of various kinds of props (food, fabrics, materials).

    Since they are really rough, they’ll inspire you to create something cool using them as sound sources.

    Their proximity allows you to use them for macro-shots, CGI and motion pieces, hyper-detailed images.


    Granular Whooshes (76 sounds)

    From sci-fi granular to totally organic, a large number of whooshes, passbys, dopplers to give a natural sense of motion to your project.


    Minimal One Shots (62 sounds)

    This is the category of short and tiny sounds: small collapsing, fractures, all with a premium high-end sonic detail.

    You can make your organic foley drumkit using them as a sample into your electronic music project.


    Organic Impacts (17 sounds)

    Powerful, organic, natural-sounding with a big low end, these impacts are ready for your earth’s destruction shots.


    Granular Atmospheres (16 sounds)

    Abstract but generated from organic recordings, these atmospheres will help you to get the right “other world” dimension to your project


    Low End Rumbles (12 sounds)

    Last but not least, do you need more power in the low end? You can layer these sounds to enforce subsonic frequencies giving a new taste to other existing sounds.

    29 %
    OFF
    Ends 1580252399
    Add to cart
  • Obscure cinematic ping elements perfect to add as top layers while crafting memorable hit sounds and hybrid trailer impacts with mystical undertones and terrifying stingers.

    This file is from the personal library of trailer music composer Federico Soler Fernandez (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” – “The Food That Built America (History Channel)” – “Middle Earth: Shadow of War” – “Halloween 2018” – “The Predator 2018”)

    Add to cart
  • The Creepy Contrabass SFXs Instrument: A Big collection of Creepy SFXs live Contrabass, recorded from 3 mic positions with a Neumann U87. This is the best Contrabass collection for your horror trailer tracks, recorded by Vesislava Todorova.

    Features 427MB uncompressed content, 180 sounds in 24 bit / 96 kHz. Includes 2 instruments for the FULL Kontakt version 5.8.1 and the AIFF Version.

    Vesislava Todorova is a performing and recording artist from Bulgaria, with more than 10 Years of experience playing cello for various projects such as movies, video games, commercials and now the brand new Creepy Contrabass SFX Library from TH Studio Production.

    Along with her live performances, she also has a strong online presence with over 7 million views her covers and original music.

    CREEPY CONTRABASS

    2 Instruments for FULL KONTAKT 5.8.1

    AIFF Version

    Add to cart
  • The Creepy Violin SFXs Instrument: A Big collection of Creepy SFXs live Violin, recorded from 3 mic positions with a Neumann U87. This is the best Violin collection for your horror trailer tracks, recorded by Vesislava Todorova.

    Features 681 MB uncompressed content, 306 sounds in 24 bit / 96 Khz. Includes 3 instruments for the FULL Kontakt version 5.8.1 and the AIFF Version.

    Vesislava Todorova is a performing and recording artist from Bulgaria, with more than 10 Years of experience playing cello for various projects such as movies, video games, commercials and now the brand new Creepy Violin SFX Library from TH Studio Production.

    CREEPY VIOLIN

    • 3 Instrument for FULL Kontakt 5.8.1
    • 681 MB uncompressed
    • 24 Bit / 96 kHz

    Add to cart


Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 
Want more stories like this? Follow A Sound Effect:
 
                              

Some interesting scripts that you can get with ReaPack:
• Airon_Colour Swatch.lua – A nice colour picker for tracks and items
• Breeder_spk77_GlueTools.lua – provides toggles for what happens when gluing items.
• mpl_Randomize Track FX Parameters

randomize_track_fx

Not an extension, but something that’s also really helpful is the VLC media player. Once installed on your system REAPER can use it as a decoder for videos and allows you to import more file formats. If you work with video you’ll need this. Be sure to get the 64-bit installer.
 

5: Be part of the community

REAPER has a friendly and generous user community. There are so many users sharing their knowledge, scripts, custom themes, effects, templates and more for free or by donation. The official REAPER forum is also where you should go for support, bug reports and pre-release testing. There are several good groups on Facebook, there’s a subReddit, and even a secret Slack team for professional users (have a guess at who you’d ask to get in to that one). If you need something, just ask! If you discover a great tip, share it!
 

A big thanks to Jon Tidey for his Reaper tips!

 

Jon Tidey is a freelance Micslinger in Vancouver and editor of The REAPER Blog. Meet him on Twitter / Facebook / Youtube
 

Please share this:


 


 
 
THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • Fire The Burning House Library Play Track 104+ sounds included, 107 mins total $149

    A burning building is a pinnacle of danger, but here's your chance to hear a controlled one! This library captures a wooden summer cottage burning down to the ground. It contains fire at various intensities and random debris as the house falls apart. A number of microphones were positioned around the house to cover the exteriors, and one microphone was inside the house to cover the early stages of the fire spreading inside. A few crackles, sparks, and debris are also included as sweeteners.

    Add to cart
  • Environments The Rustle Play Track 58+ sounds included, 165 mins total $59

    The Rustle is a sound effects library with recordings of grass, leaves, scrubs, branches, rods, twigs & trees rustling in the wind.

    It gets you a versatile collection of high-quality recordings of natural sounding ambience and foley sweeteners – and includes sounds from sources such as small leaves, large leaves, grass rustling, scrubs, small and large hedge leaves, bamboo leaves, thick leaves, dangling bamboo rods, bamboo fields, maple tree branches, dry field grass, trees – and more!

    Add to cart
  • Destruction & Impact Bullet Impacts Play Track 320 sounds included $35

    Prepare for impact! This EFX Bullet Impact collection features a huge number of impacts into cars, metal, walls, water, body impacts, as well as passbys, ricochets and underwater passbys.

    A must-have for for actual bullet and combat sounds – and for adding oomph to many other types of impact sounds too!

    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Environments Command Center I Play Track 28 sounds included, 28 mins total $24.95

    Orbital Emitter is proud to present Command Center I – a comprehensive sci-fi sound-set providing a rich arsenal of futuristic sounds for you to quickly build believable sci-fi atmospheres for all of your sci-fi projects! Inside you will find nuanced environments, futuristic instrument displays, multiple alerts and imaginative lo-fi system sounds. And like the rest of our growing library, this environment sound-set can be customized to your liking allowing multiple possibilities -all from this one sound-set!

    Our sound-sets are made up of two main folders labeled as Audio-Scenes and Audio-Stems. The Command Center I Audio-Scenes consist of five long playing scenes representing this star-cruiser command center in various modes of operation; -From busy to calm to high alert and more. Think of these audio-scenes like we dropped microphones into a futuristic space cruiser command center and have captured all of its sounds in real-time!

    Our Audio-Stems folder contains the curated sound elements used in creating the audio-scenes. This is where you will find isolated sound elements like tactical scans, lost communications, sweeping sensors, enemy alerts, interface sounds, probe telemetries, stellar mapping, systems under incredible stress and interface sounds and much much more!

    Also included with our audio-stems are less glamorous necessities like room tones and back-wall system sounds to give your futuristic environments the nuance they deserve. This sound-set is delivered industry ready at 24 bit/48kHz WAV and each sound file contains simple meta-data to make our sound files easy to organize & find. All of our sounds are 100% original, created in our sound-labs and designed to boldly explore the universe of sci-fi sound!

    Thank you for reading! Watch for more from Orbital Emitter coming soon!

    20 %
    OFF
    Starts 1579820400
  • Say Hello to Particles the new sonic weapon for creative sound designers, video makers, filmmakers and motion designers.

    A must-have sound effect library to give a sense of organic and hyper-realistic to your projects in a fast and creative way.

    • 287 high quality pristine sound effects with an organic and granular taste divided into 6 categories.
    • Stereo 24bit and 96khz for extreme pitch shifting and sound manipulation.
    • BaseHead embedded metadata

    CATEGORIES:

    Hyper- Realistic Textures (104 sounds)

    These are hyper close-up recordings of various kinds of props (food, fabrics, materials).

    Since they are really rough, they’ll inspire you to create something cool using them as sound sources.

    Their proximity allows you to use them for macro-shots, CGI and motion pieces, hyper-detailed images.


    Granular Whooshes (76 sounds)

    From sci-fi granular to totally organic, a large number of whooshes, passbys, dopplers to give a natural sense of motion to your project.


    Minimal One Shots (62 sounds)

    This is the category of short and tiny sounds: small collapsing, fractures, all with a premium high-end sonic detail.

    You can make your organic foley drumkit using them as a sample into your electronic music project.


    Organic Impacts (17 sounds)

    Powerful, organic, natural-sounding with a big low end, these impacts are ready for your earth’s destruction shots.


    Granular Atmospheres (16 sounds)

    Abstract but generated from organic recordings, these atmospheres will help you to get the right “other world” dimension to your project


    Low End Rumbles (12 sounds)

    Last but not least, do you need more power in the low end? You can layer these sounds to enforce subsonic frequencies giving a new taste to other existing sounds.

    29 %
    OFF
    Ends 1580252399
  • Obscure cinematic ping elements perfect to add as top layers while crafting memorable hit sounds and hybrid trailer impacts with mystical undertones and terrifying stingers.

    This file is from the personal library of trailer music composer Federico Soler Fernandez (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” – “The Food That Built America (History Channel)” – “Middle Earth: Shadow of War” – “Halloween 2018” – “The Predator 2018”)

  • The Creepy Contrabass SFXs Instrument: A Big collection of Creepy SFXs live Contrabass, recorded from 3 mic positions with a Neumann U87. This is the best Contrabass collection for your horror trailer tracks, recorded by Vesislava Todorova.

    Features 427MB uncompressed content, 180 sounds in 24 bit / 96 kHz. Includes 2 instruments for the FULL Kontakt version 5.8.1 and the AIFF Version.

    Vesislava Todorova is a performing and recording artist from Bulgaria, with more than 10 Years of experience playing cello for various projects such as movies, video games, commercials and now the brand new Creepy Contrabass SFX Library from TH Studio Production.

    Along with her live performances, she also has a strong online presence with over 7 million views her covers and original music.

    CREEPY CONTRABASS

    2 Instruments for FULL KONTAKT 5.8.1

    AIFF Version

  • The Creepy Violin SFXs Instrument: A Big collection of Creepy SFXs live Violin, recorded from 3 mic positions with a Neumann U87. This is the best Violin collection for your horror trailer tracks, recorded by Vesislava Todorova.

    Features 681 MB uncompressed content, 306 sounds in 24 bit / 96 Khz. Includes 3 instruments for the FULL Kontakt version 5.8.1 and the AIFF Version.

    Vesislava Todorova is a performing and recording artist from Bulgaria, with more than 10 Years of experience playing cello for various projects such as movies, video games, commercials and now the brand new Creepy Violin SFX Library from TH Studio Production.

    CREEPY VIOLIN

    • 3 Instrument for FULL Kontakt 5.8.1
    • 681 MB uncompressed
    • 24 Bit / 96 kHz

 
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